Botanical Name:Salvia Multiorrhiza
Species: S. miltiorrhiza
Common Names: Red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen or danshen
Habitat :Salvia Multiorrhiza is native to China and Japan, it grows at 90 to 1,200 m (300 to 3,940 ft) elevation, preferring grassy places in forests, hillsides, and along stream banks. The specific epithet miltiorrhiza means “red ochre root”.
Description:Salvia miltiorrhiza is a deciduous perennial plant with branching stems that are 30 to 60 cm (0.98 to 1.97 ft) tall, with widely spaced leaves that are both simple and divided. The .3 m (0.98 ft) inflorescences are covered with hairs and sticky glands. Flowers grow in whorls, with light purple to lavender blue corollas that are approximately 2.5 cm (0.082 ft) long, with a dark purple calyx. Salvia miltiorrhiza prefers well draining soil, with about half a day of sunlight. It is hardy to approximately 10 °C (14 °F). Most Salvia seeds have a higher germination rate when exposed to light, though it is not required.
Salvia Multiorrhiza is a shade-growing flowering plant in the genus Salvia, highly valued for its roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The roots are used in TCM to thin and promote blood flow. It is also used to treat myocardial infarction and stroke.
Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position. Prefers a rich soil. Plants can be killed by excessive winter wet. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation: Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season.
Dan Shen has long been used in Chinese medicine and recent research has confirmed the validity of its use in the treatment of heart and circulatory problems. The root is adaptogen, alterative, anticholesterolemic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, emmenagogue, hepatic, sedative, tonic and vulnerary. It acts mainly on the heart energy, removing excess heat and clearing stagnation. Its use improves the micro-circulation, increases blood flow to the coronary artery, improves myocardial contraction and adjusts the heart rate. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas, E. coli, Vibrio Proteus, Bacillus typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus etc. It is used internally in the treatment of coronary heart disease, poor circulation, palpitations, irritability, insomnia, breast abscesses, mastitis, ulcers, boils, sores, bruises, menstrual problems and post-natal pains. ‘Praised for its alleged medicinal qualities, including a cure for cancer’. The roots are harvested in the autumn and early winter and are dried for later use.
Other Uses:None known
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